Karanka Presser, Pre-Season Schedule & More

13 Apr

Entrenamiento_del_Real_MadridThe team trained behind closed doors today for the last time before meeting Athletic tomorrow. It will be the last time that Real plays in the historic San Mames, which will demolished after this season. It’s where Iker made his debut and is one of the great European stadiums.

Aitor Karanaka took on the presser duties today.


Karanka: “San Mames is always a tough ground to get a win from but it’s a great place to play”

“Real Madrid’s matches there are always special; the players realize that they have to be 100% match fit to be in the squad”, added the Madrid coach

Real Madrid square off against Athletic on match day 31 of La Liga and Aitor Karanka spoke to the media in the pre-match conference before the tie against the Basque team. The Real assistant coach assured us that: “San Mamés is always a tough ground to get a win from but it’s also a great place to play and even more so this time as it will be our last game there this season. Athletic’s injury list and the players who will actually play are not just any players, a case in point being Fernando Llorente if he plays, we know very well what a great player he is, he’s one of Spain’s World Cup winning squad, after all. Real Madrid’s matches there are always special”.

Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (5)Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (7)The Madrid coach knows that the team will have to maintain their positive run and excellent form they have shown this season at a ground where the Whites were proclaimed champions of La Liga last season: “this is a match in which we have to take the points, to reduce the gap if we can or at least make sure it doesn’t get any bigger. San Mamés is always special; they have players out through injury, but Real Madrid could be the kind of opponent they need to turn their season around, one which has so far not been as good as they would have hoped, so we will have to give 100% as we always do”.

Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensaKaranka_en_rueda_de_prensa (1)As for the possible inclusion of Iker Casillas in the squad at the stadium that saw him make his debut in the First Division for Real, he had this to say: “San Mamés is a special place for any player. But for Iker more than for anyone, as it’s where he made his debut, and for me too, for Xabi Alonso who played for Real, and for Sergio Ramos who has played there many times… San Mamés is a special place for everyone, but as for whether he will play, I can’t tell you because the players don’t know yet and naturally they will be the first to know”.

Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (9)Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (2)Real Madrid have played a lot of matches already this season and with regard to the first eleven and the team’s physical shape, he told us: “We will have to wait and see. At the moment we have four players out with injuries. Essien, Kaká, Özil who was badly injured, Arebeloa with back problems, and the rest – we will have to wait and see what we can do so that we can all reach the final stages in good shape and with a chance of winning”.

Karanka was asked about the high level that the whole team is performing at, irrespective of which players come on first, and he explained it thus: “The Boss has said this many times and I agree – class players will always deliver. We have said so many times, we don’t pay attention to what outsiders have to say, we just get on with our job. It’s simply a question of selecting the best players for each match whatever competition it is – the players know full well that to be in the team one has to be 100%”.

Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (8)Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (4)Regarding the draw for the semi-finals of the Champions League in which Real Madrid is involved, he stressed that: “We have the experience of what happened not so long ago when we were talking about how tough an opponent Galatasaray was, that it wasn’t going to be easy and we were proved right in the return leg. It’s the semi-finals and there are four teams left, all of them with great prestige. Dortmund is a team we have not been able to beat this season, and if anyone thinks it is going to be a cakewalk or that we are as good as in the final already, he is very much mistaken. I imagine the players must have been talking about the draw yesterday but now the only thing we should be talking about is the match against Athletic. Next week when the Champions League comes round again we can talk about it and focus on that competition”.

Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (3)Karanka_en_rueda_de_prensa (6)Finally, with regard to the future, he said: “I’ve been with the Boss and this coaching team for two and a half years, learning and enjoying every day more, even if there are many people who would have you believe the opposite. I am made up to be working with a manager who is so respected in the world of football by all the greatest professionals: players, directors, managers, coaches… respected worldwide. And what is more I can boast of having five more friends than I had before and the day that I leave, whether it is this year, next year or ten years from now, I will always have this and then I will see what I will do when the time comes, not before”, Karanka summed up.

The following players were called up for the match:

Goalkeepers: Diego López, Casillas and Adán.
Defenders: Varane, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrão, Carvalho, Marcelo, Albiol and Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Modric, Callejón and Di María.
Strikers: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuaín and Morata.

Mou was off watching Borussia Dortmund spank SpVgg Greuther Fürth 6-1 today with Jose Morais, scoping out the competition.

BHvKAJ8CIAAn2eVI just have to share this shot of Jose Morais. I think he has the most fantastic smile. What at good looking man!

jose moraisMarca reported on our new sponsorship deal with Emirates today. Get ready for a new logo on our shirts next season. The official presentation will take place on April 30th.

1365799084_extras_mosaico_noticia_1_g_0Marca also had the low down on our pre-season plans. Unamadridista kindly did a translation of the article. Here’s the basics:

July 22 – match vs. Galatasaray in Istanbul
July 24 – match vs. English or German team in Istanbul
July 27 – match vs. Paris Saint-Germain in Goteborg, Sweden
July 28 – Start of pre-season camp at UCLA
August 1 – match vs. TBD  in Los Angeles, CA
August 4 – match vs. TBD  in Phoenix, AZ
August 7 – match vs. TBD  in Washington, D.C.
August 11 – match vs. TBD  in Miami, FL
August 12 – Team returns to Madrid to finish out pre-season at home

Sigh. So begins our annual pilgrimage. Destination: heatstroke. I swear to god that they pick the hottest places to play in the summer. Now, I’m not saying that they should play in Minnesota during Christmas break, but COME ON, Phoenix & Miami in the summer?! I’m also miffed that the Washington match is on a weekday. Start saving those vacation days now, kiddies!

And on that note, I’ve got to get some things done around the house. Happy Saturday!

– Lozil

9 Responses to “Karanka Presser, Pre-Season Schedule & More”

  1. la-la April 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    ‘Ozil was injured badly’….no! What did I miss??

    • headbandsandheartbreak April 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Holy crap – I didn’t even notice that when I skimmed the article before posting. Must have been in training today.

  2. crispycris@cellc.blackberry.com April 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Sent from my BlackBerry®

  3. your- the -ozi- to-my- khedira April 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Sigh … Hopefully Ozil , Kaka and Essien will be fit in time for the semis !!!

    If Mou leaves this season , I’m hoping Karanka will stay and be his successor … I can’t imagine anyone else as coach …

  4. Katie Ann April 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Desperately wish the team would play in Boston over the summer. I managed to get to Philly last summer, but DC? I don’t have people there. Must start scheming…

  5. Ira April 14, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    I saw the Marca article earlier and I was wondering – is this schedule official? As much as I like a DC, I assumed they would play in NYC like last year so I was hoping/planning on going back to NYC for the match. However, if the dates and locations are 100% finalized, I’ll start planning a trip to DC.

    • headbandsandheartbreak April 14, 2013 at 12:27 am #

      Nothing official and finalized till it’s on the RM website. We’ll have to wait a few months for that. Marca was spot on last year though.

      • Ira April 14, 2013 at 12:44 am #

        Yeah, I remember that from last year. It just sucks that RM website takes so long to release official statements. Last year I made the mistake of not booking time off at work until the official statement was released [by then it was too late and I couldn’t get those days off:(]. I am gonna trust Marca and book time off now.

        • Luz April 14, 2013 at 8:53 am #

          The game between PSG and Real in Sweden has been official since the beginning of April – found it on RM homepage. Tried to get tickets but it’s pretty difficult especially if you’re a tad lazy like me and want a seat and of course one the better seats, so you actually can see the players. However, the tickets are quite expensive. The best seats costs around 900SEK which is 140USD….

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